Monday, May 17, 2010


The themes in this exhibition have less to do with veils and more to do with isolation.  The veil is a metaphor for the isolation of the Muslim female in contemporary Europe and the hypocrisy that surrounds her.

An  innocent bystander in the war on terror now held ransom, by both sides.  All claim they want to help her, protect her, to liberate her.  Neither hears her screams though, as hate crimes skyrocket against her in Europe.

Of course! She cried as she beat her bloody fists against the crumbling, bombed out cement.
Have you seen the posters?

Nor does anyone hold her hand through the places in society where is she is no longer welcome, banned; places she desperately needs.

Schools, hospitals, courts, none accessible to her now.

Not in Germany, not in Holland, not in France, not in Turkey.

Slowly, quietly, that number is growing.  Denmark’s conservative party has broached the ban, France takes it a step further and disallows all headscarves.

Sikh men look on in confusion, their ancient, proud heritage suddenly in peril.

Where is the leak, where is the hatred seeping from?  There is a sore here, something festering and it is spilling forth wherever there is a crack.  And Europe is full of those, this time, somehow though, it looks as if it’s about to crumble.  Again.

Is it really happening? People ask, their mouths half-open.  Is it really illegal they ask? Their eyes wide in confusion.  Americans are allergic to that sort of curbing of expression, it dumbfounds us… for now.

We didn’t know.  They said in Poland.  We didn’t know.
We thought they were being relocated.
We didn’t think to ask where, just somewhere where there were more of Them, people like Them.
So We could be apart, and be with OUR own kind.
We just wanted Them to go away, they said quietly, when only the children could hear them.
We just want them to go away, and we’ll look away if we have to…
just take them away.

What now?
Do you look past the posters as you walk through the Metro?

The veiled woman stands, peering at you.  She has an army of minarets behind her.  Victims so easily become dangerous, don’t they?  The urge to stamp her off that bright, clean red, swiss map is undeniable.

We just want them to leave.
We don’t want to look at your black veils anymore.
We want our beautiful country back.
We want our vistas uninterrupted by your insanity.
They whisper to each other, not so quietly, anymore.

(A form of ARCHITECTURE is banned in Switzerland, let that sink in)

I like the one with the white sheep all standing together smiling as one of them kicks a black sheep off the swiss map.

For our security! It blares.

A black sheep, a look of dumb confusion playing across its face, kicked, off the country, right there next to the Baby Gap.

What’s happened here?  Is this allowed?

Can you invite a foreign population into your country because you need their labor and expect them to not have children?
Can you expect their children not to have children?
Can you expect third generation Swiss Iraqi’s to go back to Iraq?  Yes, you can.
You do it by making life unlivable.

You start with posters, then laws, then as the economy gets worse and people start to see red, you throw them a little fresh meat.

Here she is, she is to blame for your ills.

The Western symbology surrounding the veiled Muslim woman is not one of a suffering they want to end.

Don’t be na├»ve any longer.

The reason this image has leached, with its pejorative connotations, from our plastic bowl of society into our consciousness is because…
She the is symbol of the Muslim womb.

The secret weapon of the Arabs, Arafat called it.
The powerful symbol of Muslim fertility.
Guarded, shrouded, in fact.
This is why she is on the posters.
It is more insidious than you thought?
Well, of course it is darling.

Perhaps, then even more perfect to take the lens to Amsterdam and have a woman who is regulated and taxed by the Dutch government for selling her vagina, her anus, her mouth, and I suppose her humiliation and have her perform in a criminal act, by putting my black scarf over her face.

Sell it and your soul, your dignity - legal.
Cover it up - illegal.

STOP! The posters scream.
STOP! Believing what you do!
STOP! Being brown!
STOP! Praying!
STOP! Asking for rights, jobs, real integration, faith, trust, friendship.
STOP! We have nothing to give you.

Just as we had nothing to give then.  We have nothing.  We are neutral.

We didn’t know they said.  You didn’t know, did you?

Geert Wilder hums along from his checkpoint outpost, his sights locked on the Muslim womb.  Charge women, he says for wearing the headscarf.

Where will the gypsy’s go?

What about fashion? a small voice inside me, shamefully wonders.

Where do the distinctions lie now that you’ve made freedom of speech, religion and expression such nebulous, fuzzy concepts?

The boundaries have been rubbed out by a fear-filled eraser, wielded by opportunistic tyrants who will vacation in Dubai and have absolutely no problem with any Muslim tradition the Emir wishes to observe.  Geert Akbar indeed. 

Europe finds itself, once again, led by a few, simple-minded bullies who have caught the unmistakable scent of blood and followed it’s red trail straight to the black veil.

Europe’s biggest fear.
Our culture is dying.
It is being replaced.
Remove those who would replace it.

And their fears are real.  Europe is dying.  The birthrates so low in countries like Italy and Spain that in a few generations they will be the minority.  The old cultures will survive as if in a theme park, they say.

How does any civilization cope staring into the mouth of extinction? It’s sharp teeth dripping in anticipation.

These Muslims cannot be the ones to replace us.
We must take our cultures back, take our countries back.

But you cannot take time back.

Integration, real integration would have seen the revitalization of Europe.  A new mixed, brown/white breed.  A prospering Europe, birthrates soaring… peace.  But that is a question that can have no relevance now.  Not when we’ve come to this point.  Now, as you look down the station and you see hundreds of black, red, and white posters hanging from the street lamps, you don’t notice that they’re minarets not swastikas.  Somehow, they look exactly the same.  Same old game, same old tricks, and they’re still working.  Because we’re still not paying attention.

We didn’t know they said.  I didn’t know that, they say…

Where did we go wrong?  The generation that cried together in groups when those babies died in the pre-school in Oklahoma city? Where are we?  The one’s that cried for Kurt and River? The ones raised in peace, brought up to think the world was full of potential and opportunity.  The Clintonian teenagers.

I am 33.  The same age Jesus was.
What has happened to the world that is supposed to be in my charge?
In the charge of my generation?
Am I supposed to sit back and watch the Fourth Reich dance at her debut?

We didn’t know they said.  I didn’t know, you said.
Europe has some nightmarish maneuvers stashed away for its last gasp.
Wake up.  Now you know.

- Amber Khan

CCNYC Presents: 'Between the Lines' An Exhibition of Paintings by Elizabeth Adams

CCNYC wants to thanks Elizabeth Adams for her beautiful artwork and everyone who came through and supported!!!   Also thanks to Mr. Scrivani, Mr. Sunday, the Young Intern, and Cash Boogie.